Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: Hi everyone, and welcome back to RussianPod101.com. This is Business Russian for Beginners Season 1 Lesson 15 - Saying You Can't Speak the Language. John Here.
Karina: Привет, I'm Karina.
John: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask someone to speak another language. The conversation takes place at Euro Bank.
Karina: It's between a receptionist and Linda.
John: The speakers are strangers, therefore, they will speak formal Russian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Секретарь: Доброе утро. Это Евро Банк.
Линда: Здравствуйте, это Линда Бейкер из ABC.
Секретарь: Доброе утро. Чем я могу Вам помочь?
Линда: Ой... Извините, я плохо знаю русский, мы можем поговорить по-английски?
Секретарь: Конечно.
John: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Секретарь: Доброе утро. Это Евро Банк.
Линда: Здравствуйте, это Линда Бейкер из ABC.
Секретарь: Доброе утро. Чем я могу Вам помочь?
Линда: Ой... Извините, я плохо знаю русский, мы можем поговорить по-английски?
Секретарь: Конечно.
John: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Receptionist: Good morning, this is Euro Bank.
Linda: Hello, this is Linda Baker from ABC.
Receptionist: Good morning, how can I help you?
Linda: Ah... I'm sorry, I speak Russian poorly, can we speak in English?
Receptionist: Sure.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
John: Wow, that was nice of the receptionist to agree to speak English.
Karina: Yes, it was very kind!
John: Do many Russians speak English?
Karina: It’s a compulsory subject in school from junior high, and many students even start learning it in elementary school.
John: Do children only learn at school, or are extra classes and private tutors popular?
Karina: Some parents spend a lot of money on helping their children learn English.
John: I guess that speaking English will put them at an advantage when it comes to hunting for a job.
Karina: That’s right. It’s a good skill to have.
John: Has it always been that way in Russia?
Karina: No. Younger people can speak English well, but people 30 and up will probably struggle just to introduce themselves.
John: So are these older people that speak no English at a disadvantage when it comes to working for international companies?
Karina: Actually, if you are a good specialist, companies can hire interpreters, if there is an important meeting or some other important event, otherwise, younger employees will help.
John: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
John: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is...
Karina: плохо [natural native speed]
John: badly, bad
Karina: плохо[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: плохо [natural native speed]
John: Next we have...
Karina: русский [natural native speed]
John: Russian (language, nationality)
Karina: русский[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: русский [natural native speed]
John: Next we have...
Karina: английский [natural native speed]
John: English
Karina: английский[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: английский [natural native speed]
John: Last we have...
Karina: конечно [natural native speed]
John: of course, certainly
Karina: конечно[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: конечно [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage of one of the words from this lesson. The word is...
Karina: говорить
John: meaning "to speak." What can you tell us about this verb?
Karina: This word can be used in two ways.
John: What are they?
Karina: говорить has both the meanings of "to talk" to somebody and "to speak" a language or to speak loudly or quietly.
John: Are there other verbs that can be used for these meanings?
Karina: There are many. Most of them come from говорить, such as разговаривать.
John: Which means “to talk,” as in “to have communication.” Can you give us an example using this word?
Karina: Sure. For example, you can say, Мы разговаривали о музыке.
John: ...which means "We talked about music"
John: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

John: In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask someone to speak another language. I think this is an important lesson. Even if your Russian is really good, there might still be situations where speaking another language, like English, is easier.
Karina: Right, especially in formal or unusual situations.
John: Like in the dialogue. Karina, how can we ask someone to speak a different language?
Karina: First, it’s polite to explain why you want another language.
John: Yes, you should start by telling the person that your Russian isn’t quite good enough.
Karina: You should use the verb знать, which means “to know” when it’s followed by a noun.
John: This verb was used in the dialogue when Linda said that she spoke Russian badly.
Karina: Yes, what she literally said was “I know Russian badly” - плохо знаю русский,
John: Are there other ways to say this?
Karina: You can also use the verb понимать, which means “to understand.”
John: How can we use that in a sentence?
Karina: Use the prefix по- before the language and delete the last letter й. Я плохо понимаю по-русски
John: “I can hardly understand Russian.”
Karina: The same rule applies with the verb говорить, meaning “to speak.” Я плохо говорю по-английски.
John: “I speak English poorly.” Now that we’ve explained our reason, we need to ask them to switch to another language.
Karina: In this case, the verb мочь, meaning “can,” will come in handy.
John: How do we say “Can we speak in English?”
Karina: Мы можем поговорить по-английски?
John: Or how about “Can I speak in English?”
Karina: Я могу говорить по-английски? Be careful when conjugating мочь!
John: The list of conjugations is in the lesson notes, so check it out!

Outro

John: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Karina: Пока!

3 Comments

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RussianPod101.comVerified
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hi Listeners! Let's practice here!

RussianPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 5:45 am
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Здравствуйте robert groulx,


Thank you for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know. 😄


Kind regards,

Levente

Team RussianPod101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 11:52 pm
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thank you for the lesson


“I know Russian badly” - плохо знаю русский,


robert